Training camp updates from all 32 NFL teams on Tuesday
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Training Camp Notes
Seahawks: TE Colby Parkinson, CB Damarious Randall, CB Tre Flowers stood out. UDFA S Aashari Crosswell is one of the first undrafted players to get attention in Seahawks camp.
Vikings: OT Christian Darrisaw isn’t practicing yet but Minnesota hopes to have him back soon. Justin Jefferson is drawing rave reviews again.
Cowboys: People forget that Tyron Smith could be the best left tackle in football. A health Smith could mean everything to the Cowboys.
Broncos: Rookie CB Patrick Surtain is living up to the hype, if you believe everyone at Broncos camp. He’s been called potentially Denver’s best cornerback already.
It sounds like coaches believe he can be a day one number one cornerback. “This Patrick Surtain II, this ‘PS2’ guy, he’s the real deal,” Von Miller said May 24. “There are a couple times where I look over my shoulder just to see who’s out there at receiver, left and right checking out the formation, and I see this guy standing out there. I’m like, ‘Bro, this guy is taller than me. Is he supposed to be inside? He’s supposed to be rushing. This guy is supposed to be rushing.’ He’s the real deal and he’s a specimen. He has great feet.”
This all started last Friday, when Julian Love was asked how competitive it is going to be at the safety position. Love acknowledged the presence of several talented players and insisted every one of them will be needed.
“Joe Judge always says, ‘In the Mississippi heat, it takes more than one set of hands to grease the pig,’ ’’ Love said.
Nothing much to see there, right? Judge is from the suburbs of Philadelphia but he did go to college at Mississippi State. Hence, the geographical reference made sense.
Only Judge has never, ever said anything about greasing pigs in the Mississippi heat. Love made it up.
“I was getting a little creative with his messaging,’’ Love confessed.
Bengals: Yet another standout who is a wide receiver, this time it’s 27-year-old Trent Taylor. Hey, I’m all for it, but so many of these names are on teams that are set on receiver so it’s unlikely that most will see considerable targets in the regular season.
Browns: Case in point, Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Dolphins: Among those getting first-team reps: Nik Needham, Jason McCourty, Hunter Long, Brennan Scarlett, Justin Coleman. Former 1st round pick DT Christian Wilkins has been playing with the 2s.
Steelers: WR Rico Bussey Jr got a whole “stand out” article at BTSC.
Bussey has been making the routine plays consistently, which would be impressive enough for a undrafted free agent participating in his first NFL training camp. That would be a great story in itself, but Bussey hasn't been content with just being consistent, because being consistent isn't making the Steelers roster stacked with talented wideouts. Truth be told, wide receiver may be the toughest position on the Steelers to earn a roster spot this season. Bussey knew coming in he had to be explosive to be noticed, and that's exactly what he has done. He has been a big play waiting to happen during camp practices, making himself virtually impossible to ignore.
Ravens: WR Deon Cain.
Bucs: Antonio Brown is getting a shot to really compete as one of Tampa’s top targets this season. Injuries will happen. Is Brown still a 1,000-yard player? Probably in that offense with the right opportunities.
Bucs: Other stand outs include S Jordan Whitehead, DE Joe Tryon, CB Ross Cockrell.
Giants: It hasn’t been a great start for Kenny Golladay with the Giants.
Jets: WR Elijah Moore compared to OBJ.
Saints: WR/PR Jalen McCleskey’s second shout out in as many days.
Giants: Daniel Jones had a good first day of practice with pads. WR David Sills has been mentioned again. Remember what I said about WRs though, they’ll be largely overrated when looking at practices and preseason.
Patriots: WR Kristian Wilkerson has stood out because of his special teams acumen and could be a surprise roster player. Getting Matthew Slater to mentor you is a good idea. And 2019 UDFA LB Anthony Pittman was called out by defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, saying “There’s a lot of things about that player I like.” There are three more New England players who warrant mention today: LB Josh Uche, LB Matt Judon, and rookie DT Christian Barmore.
Saints: It’s rarely a good thing to have a QB competition and sure enough, it seems like New Orleans could have two backups instead of two starters. Rookie CB Paulson Adebo and LB Pete Werner were called out for GOOD reasons. CB Marshon Lattimore struggled (for his expectations) last season but is reportedly on top of his game at camp so far.
Browns: Quote of the day from WR Rashard Higgins: When you need a play, man, you call God, and then you can call me. QB Baker Mayfield struggled on Tuesday, but maybe there haven’t been many guys who are open. OLB Jadeveon Clowney has had some good moments in camp.
Seahawks: D.J. Reed gave shout outs to Darrell Taylor and Jordyn Brooks.
Colts: NT Grover Stewart had a day. DE Kwity Paye, Indy’s first rounder, is having a great camp as well.
Texans: DT Maliek Collins was a disappointment with the Raiders, but he’s been called one of the most consistent players at Houston camp. The team is also happy with QB Tyrod Taylor and OL Tytus Howard has been valuable because of his versatility. OT Charlie Heck seems to have surpassed Marcus Cannon in the competition at right tackle, with Howard playing either at RT or inside and Heck taking the other job. Maybe. Also, the team likes Brandin Cooks, they traded for Anthony Miller, they have Keke Coutee, Andre Roberts, and third round pick Nico Collins, but veteran Chris Conley is apparently looking good enough in camp to compete to start.
Bears: This is “classic” Justin Fields…He drops back, no pressure, looks at one read, throws a deep-ish pass, an open receiver catches it, the crowd loses its mind.
49ers: Add Trent Sherfield to the list of receivers who are having an impact. Sherfield is expected to make the roster as a veteran on special teams. Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Mohamed Sanu, and Sherfield are going to make the 49ers roster. What about Jalen Hurd, Kevin White, Nsimba Webster, Jordan Matthews, Travis Benjamin, River Cracraft, Austin Watkins, and Richie James? I’ll say Hurd and maybe Matthews.
Also, the top four players on this “Good” list here are defensive linemen: Dee Ford, Kentavius Street, DJ Jones, and Kevin Givens. The 49ers could be a nightmare for offensive lines this year. The first name on the “Bad” list is Deebo Samuel, who continues to battle injuries.
Steelers: G Kendrick Green is standing out. LB Alex Highsmith is making a name for himself.
Titans: Rookie CB Elijah Molden with the shout outs.
Raiders: QB Marcus Mariota has been “fantastic” in training camp, which is another way of saying that Las Vegas would love to trade him for a first round pick. Who knows, maybe he would challenge Derek Carr this year, but we’ve yet to see greatness from Mariota. CB Casey Hayward could be one of the best signings of the offseason of any team. DE Maxx Crosby has also been “incredible” per Jon Gruden. Fourth round safety Tyree Gillsepie is a little banged up today but there are high expectations already. WR Hunter Renfrow also being praised.
Raiders: OT Alex Leatherwood is one of the top rookies in an NFL training camp this year. “He looks like a fifth-year all-pro” according to one person with the team.
Lions: DT Alim McNeil might be the “steal” of Detroit’s draft.
"You talking about The Dancing Bear?" defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said. "I’ll tell you what man, he’s unbelievable. Strong, agile. Everything that we expected when we got him. You saw it on tape, so we’re happy with that player. Now, he still has a ways to go, just like a lot of guys do. We’re going to coach his butt off and continue to make him be successful to be the player he can be."
Jaguars: WR Marvin Jones attributes success to stretching:
"It takes a lot of stretching," Jones said. "And if you see that I have a tight blue band on at all times, it's because I have to keep my hips right. The sun is also great for me. If it's hot, I really like it because it keeps my joints warm, so I don't have to warm up as much. It's just the preparation. I have a formula that I do every offseason and training camp and during the season that works, and I still feel like I'm in year one … when I do that."
Broncos: OT Calvin Anderson has come from relative obscurity to become one of Vic Fangio’s favorite players in camp. This is his third year in the league without much of a whiff of the league yet.
Eagles: CB Josiah Scott is “flashing every day”. Javon Hargrave is “on a tear.” RT Casey Tucker “continues to have a solid camp.” Zech McPhearson continues to “impress every day.”
Seahawks: Pete Carroll called Robert Nkemdiche a “beautiful spirit”:
"He's a beautiful spirit now. He really cares about having fun and enjoying it. I can't imagine someone putting a lid on him back in the day. Maybe that's why some of the stories came out," Carroll said. "Here we welcome the spirit of it and what he brings, and everyone has to get along and fit in and all that. He does too. I don't want to harness that kind of love for being outgoing, and expressive and all that. I don't want to get in the way of all that. I'm going to cheerlead for that."
WFT: S Landon Collins could be a CPOY type.
Bears: Not many in Chicago are happy with how much time OT Teven Jenkins is missing this camp.
Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick called nickel “the most mentally demanding” position in the secondary and he has high hopes for Pittsburgh CB Antoine Brooks Jr.
Rams: Sean McVay is “encouraged” by what he’s seen from second year RB Xavier Jones.
Browns: Kareem Hunt is impressed by rookie RB/WR Demetric Felton.
Jaguars: RB James Robinson looks “primed” for big season. CB Shaquill Griffin proving to be a “leader.” S Andre Cisco getting play time with 1s.
Ravens: G Ben Cleveland could be a “steal.” Calais Campball apparently looking like best player at camp, even at 35.
Okay, I’ll post this for now and I may be back in a few days.